The Phantom of the Opera
The classic Gothic horror novel of haunted cellars, opera, murder and unrequited love that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. Christine is a beautiful young singer at the Paris Opera. She is watched by the Opera's 'phantom' -- a mysterious masked figure who terrorises the Opera's management and players. With the Phantom's help, Christine rises to become the Opera's star performer, but when the Phantom demands her heart in return, Christine is torn between gratitude and pity for her strange benefactor, and love for her childhood sweetheart, Raoul.
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"Just finished re-reading this classic. Loved it. I love the Webber musical, but the book has so much more plot and characterization (and Love Never Dies is awful). The second half of the book picks up in pace at a dizzying rate to the point that the book becomes a bounding marathon of a page-turner almost out of nowhere. VAGUE SPOILER ALERT The author sets out to explain much but also intentionally leaves many mysteries in the old opera house, leaving it a darkly magical and enigmatic place long after the phantom's mischief has ceased. The writing style strikes a balance between being sufficiently descriptive and leaving room for the reader to imagine. I wish the Persian, hero that he is, got more personal development. "
"The movie and play adaptations really make this out to be a romance BUT. It. Is. CERTAINLY. Not. Genuinely scary - toxic possessive guy, who can absolutely be empathized with but not idolized, and definitely not not not romantic. The Persian is the best character, I will die on this hill."